Comedian

Comedian: (n) an entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh

If you tell a couple of jokes at several parties in a row, you’ll start hearing your friends proclaim, “You could be a comedian!”

And when you bashfully turn your head, they insist, “No, no! You could do stand-up.”

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we prove our worth by knowing how little we are.

I’ve been funny all my life. I know how to make people laugh. That does not make me a comedian.

That makes me lucky.

That makes me interesting.

Sometimes it even makes me valuable.

But to sustain a routine which continually makes people laugh is truly a masterful gift.

Even though I, myself, would not want to try stand-up comedy, I have taken the time to study it quite thoroughly. It has three major ingredients:

  1. You have to be willing to insult people because you’ve already insulted yourself.
  2. You need to be overcoming something and not afraid to talk about it in vivid or even gross detail.
  3. You need to insert just enough pathos and emotion that the audience is breathless to hear more.

Now, if you think a mere amateur can pull off these things, you should go out and sign up for open mic night–at your local pizza place.

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Advertisements

Clinic

Clinic: (n) a hospital department where outpatients are given medical treatment

Old Marion Webster always tends to leave out a detail or two in presenting definitions.

Clinics are not only places where people go to get medical assistance, but often find themselves frequenting due to poverty.

I’ve been to a clinic. It wasn’t because I doing research for one of my essays. No–I was busted.

Broke. Without bucks. Dollarless.

I found the experience to be humiliating–not because I thought I was better than all the other clientele. It was humiliating by design.

All the furniture was old, scarred, some pieces broken. The magazines were dated at least four years earlier, and had articles which had already proven to be incorrect. The candy machine was empty except for peanuts and Cheese-it crackers. The Coke machine was out of order and the coffee maker had a crack in it, so they could only make one cup at a time.

The nurses were volunteers who attempted to be cheery, but still conveyed a sense of yearning to get over their stint quickly and return to their normal lives.

The people around me were sick–some very sick. It made them look and act dreary.

I sat there and thought to myself, how easy it would be for people of substance and finance to just donate new magazines.

How about that church down the road which recently bought new furniture for their parlor–giving that old plush couch and chairs to this clinic so people would feel just a bit more comfortable as they sat for hours, waiting for a three-minute visit?

Would it kill the vendors to make sure that the candy machine was adequately stocked, and price it just a bit more reasonably for those who have to search longer for quarters?

How about giving them a new coffee pot, or taking up a donation to make the Cokes reappear?

I wasn’t angry over the indifference–just perplexed by the ignorance.

Now that prosperity has crept my way, I have a little extra money every once in a while that might seem like a gold mine for a clinic.

Maybe just buying flowers for the attendants to wear every day. Or if you worry that the patients might be allergic, purchase more colorful scrubs.

For some reason or another, rich people do not feel it’s enough to insult the less fortunate with mere poverty. They want to make sure the experience leaves a bitter taste in their mouths.

 

Donate Button

 

Black Hole

Black hole: (n) a place where people or things, especially money, disappear without trace

Dictionary B

For years, in moments of frustration, I succumbed to calling individuals around me who found my disfavor, “Asshole.”

I never felt good about it.

It was a rather sleazy term, with no real meaning. After all, the problem was certainly north of their posterior.

Yet it made me temporarily feel empowered and superior, so I gave in to the inclination.

But no more.

I have found the perfect insult for those around me who are oblivious to the needs of others and think they are driving on the highway of life in the carpool lane.

They are black holes.

When anything full of life, potential, mercy, goodness, gentleness or legitimate humor gets anywhere near them, they swallow it up into the darkness of their oblivion. They do not possess the ability to retain, but instead are bottomless cups, constantly needing refilling.

The danger is that our society might become so accepting of these “black holes” that we start believing it is human nature to be devoid of empathy.

That would be most unfortunate.

Because even in the carpool lane, it is required for you to have two people.

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

 

Banshee

Banshee: (n) in Irish legend, a female spirit whose wailing warns of an impending death in a house.Dictionary B

Although I am often surprised by Webster’s true definition of a word, this particular rendition really took my breath away.

It’s because when I was a child, I had an aunt who screamed at the children running in a room, telling us to settle down and stop acting like a “bunch of wild banshees.”

I did not know what a banshee was, nor did I care to ask her to explain. I just assumed that banshees were children who were having fun, which for some reason or another, drove this old lady crazy.

  • I knew “banshee” was not good.
  • I knew it was an insult.
  • Just like I privately knew, in my young spirit, that when my aunt used the words hillbilly, worthless slut, wetback and nigger, that she probably wasn’t being complimentary.

So in a sense, banshee became associated to me with the word nigger. In other words, I knew it was bad and I knew I didn’t want to be one, since it made my aunt so pissed off.

Oh, yes, did I fail to mention? She thought that the black people in America–the niggers–were just as uncontrolled as we banshees.

So I grew up a confused young man who was offered a lexicon of terms, which if I accidentally used in public, my parents–and aunt–would quickly silence me, expressing their displeasure over my timing.

I was a child of Middle America, instructed in “public talk” and “private talk” … cautioned to never mix the two.

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

*******************
Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

"Buy

 

 

 

Ad

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

Ad: (n) an advertisement

dictionary with letter A

Sometimes it’s the way people choose to insult you.

If you’re promoting an idea, a product, or some particular outgrowth of your own efforts, they will accuse you of “advertising.”

Matter of fact, even though we are all basically slaves to the system, we simultaneously insist that we HATE ads. We’ll even try to edit them out of our television programs, and therefore insist upon our independence from such interference. But if we were really all that turned off by ads, Madison Avenue would certainly pick up on our distaste and stop making them.

Are there things that are worth advertising? Because quite honestly, I will put an ad out to the world if I believe in something. I’m not tight-lipped about it at all.

I only require three contingencies to stimulate my passion:

1. It needs to work. I would never want to promote something that was intermittent or just flat-out fails to deliver its promises. That’s the danger of both religion and politics–their adherents have secretly become unbelievers. So the followers are like an old rocker, traveling around from one concert to another in an old beat-up van, peddling t-shirts, who no longer believes in his own slogans.

2. It should make things easier, not harder. Even though I do not think laziness is a virtue, I think over-working is a much worse vice. If you want to improve the world, make a better mouse that doesn’t need to be trapped.

3. It needs to include everybody. I know there are products, ideas and even philosophies which seem to focus on a particular age group. Maybe this is necessary. But I find the greatest value of an idea is how well it can be applied across the board–to all races, genders, ages, creeds, and orientations.

There you go. What is worthy of writing an ad? Anything that fits the criteria listed above.

In other words, an ad should … add.

Everything else is just an imitation and derivation of the hula-hoop.